Written by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL – Evan Bloodoff scored the game-wining goal at 3:10 of overtime to propel the Florida Everblades to a 5-4 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Wednesday night at Germain Arena.
With the first period getting underway the Blades were off to a hot start early thanks to their speed and quick puck movement, never exiting the Swamp Rabbits end for more than a few seconds before re-entering the offensive end. Blades’ captain Brant Harris would pick up the first goal of the game just 6:24 into the period, when defenseman Josh Wesley dragged the puck along the top of the right circle who then backhanded it to the net before being tipped in by Harris. Brendan O’Donnell would pick up a secondary assist extending his point streak to 12 games.
Not long after, at 10:24 in Curt Gogol would find himself all alone in front of Malcolm before receiving a pass from behind the net front Evan Bloodoff and firing home the Blades second goal of the night.
That would do it for goals in the first period of play, but certainly not action, as Dalton Smith stood up for his teammate in Josh Wesley going up against Greenville defenseman Justin DaSilva in a fight where Smith got off two good punches before abruptly knocking out DaSilva with one clean punch to the jaw, bringing the fans to their feet.
Coming into the second period of play it looked like an entirely different game. The Swamp Rabbits were buzzing and hopping all over the ice. The Swamp Rabbits would get on the board just over five minutes into the period, when Ahti Oksanen scored off a shot from the left circle that deflected off of a Blades’ defender in front of the net before finding its’ way to the back of the net.
The Swamp Rabbits tied the game a little over a minute later when Tristan King came in on a partial breakaway and slinging a shot past Altshuller.
Joe Houk gave the Swamp Rabbits their first lead of the night when he drifted into the slot and fired one by Altshuller’s glove side. JUust 17 seconds later, and right off the center ice draw Matt Johnson sped past the Blades defense and went forehand backhand and extending the Swamp Rabbits lead to 4-2.
The Blades had multiple opportunities on the power play early on in the third period of play, were unable to capitalize. About midway through the period the Blades had Evan Bloodoff and Logan Roe sent to the penalty box seven seconds apart, giving Greenville a minute and fifty-seven seconds on a 5-3 power play. The Blades were able to kill off both penalties, and with both Roe and Bloodoff out of the box, Bloodoff was able to spring Roe on a tricky breakaway to Roe. Roe kicked the puck off his skate as he entered the zone to gain control before coming in and going on his backhand and sneaking one through the five-hole of Malcolm.
Not long after Brendan O’Donnell would score his 28th goal of the year on a one-timed bomb from the point the clanked off the post and off Malcolm’s back side before it trickled across the goal line, thus tying the game at 4-4 with 6::54 to go in regulation.
With regulation ending in a tie both teams would pick up one point before heading into a 3-on-3 overtime for five minutes. With 1:50 to go in overtime, Evan Bloodoff broke into the zone on a two-on-one with newcomer Jake Baker who couldn’t put it home.However with the puck still loose off the rebound, Evan Bloodoff got to the front of the net and jammed it home, giving the Blades a 5-4 comeback win in overtime.
Altshuller earned the win making 26 saves on 30 shots faced while Malcolm takes the loss allowing five goals on 38 shots faced.
Florida now hits the road to open up a two-game set at Atlanta on Friday. Game time is set for 7:35 p.m. Fans can catch the game broadcast on WJBX News, Talk & More on 101.5-FM.104.3-FM, 770-AM or by CLICKING HEREUpcoming Home Games & PromotionsFriday, February, 10 vs. Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. – Kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports pub with the purchase of an adult entree.
Saturday February, 11 vs. Atlanta, 7:00 p.m. – Pink in the Rink night, present by Radiology Regional. The team will wear special pink jerseys which will be auctioned off following the game.Ticket Information
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com2016-17 Season Ticket Plans Now Available! Full and flexible partial season ticket plans are currently available for the 2016-17 season. We offer several tickets packages designed to help fit your budget and schedule.Special Offer! Purchase any new ticket package for the 2016-17 season, and receive an Everblades jersey t-shirt and a $20 gift card from Ford's Garage! Locations include Cape Coral, Downtown Fort Myers and Miromar Outlets in Estero.
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and you may also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.This release courtesy of Fort Myers Technical College & Cape Coral Technical College
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###